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Color 101: What does Your Online Color Scheme Say to Customers?

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This month’s topic “Color 101” comes from Philip A. Provins. Congratulations Philip! He just won a credit for 100 free business cards.


Color 101: What does Your Online Color Scheme Say to Customers?

Not sure? You’ve been designing web pages with blue because it’s your favorite color? Hmm, you might want to rethink your tactics. Why? “The Internet is the ultimate visual and psychological medium.”1 The content you write is, of course, a major component, as is the design itself. What about color? It’s often what people notice first. Color conveys meaning and mood. It’s important to know your market well enough to ensure that “the psychological message you are trying to get across with the rest of your site design” is Fcomplemented and enhanced by the appropriate color scheme.”1 If you’re still tempted to keep using blue because it’s your favorite color check out this statistic – according to psychologists “color impression can account for up to 60% of the acceptance or rejection of a product or service.”2 Wow.

Begin with Basic Color Psychology

The culture and country you live in, previous experiences with different colors, good and bad memories; all of these factor into a persons’ response to colors. Yet, there are some general statements about color that will hold true a lot of the time. What you want to do is select colors that enhance the mood or message you’re trying to convey. For instance, if you’re trying to portray calmness and harmony you probably shouldn’t go with red hues. Green would be a better choice. Think of red, orange, and yellow as"exciting" colors and purple, blue, and green as "calming" colors.”2

Colors and their Associated Feelings (United States)2

Red: excitement, strength, passion, speed, boldness, determination, desire, courage
Yellow: warmth, sunshine, happiness, comfort, energy
Blue: trust, reliability, belonging, loyalty, professionalism (popular color for businesses.)
Orange: playfulness, warmth, vibrant, enthusiasm, creativity
Green: nature, fresh, cool, growth, abundance, harmony
Pink: soft, sweet, security
Purple: royal, spirituality, dignity, nobility, luxury, elegance

White: pure, clean, youthful, innocence, simplicity

Black: sophistication, formality, seductive, mystery
Gold: prestige, expensive, elite
Silver: prestige, cold, scientific

Test Your Color Choices

You should test your site with different color schemes. Track which colors lead to the most conversions. As you know, McDonalds uses red and yellow. “They did intensive research before determining that those were the colors that would attract the eye. Bright colors like this encourage diners to eat and leave quickly.”2

What do you want to say with your online color scheme?

Resources

Links to help if You’re Color Challenged
Here’s a cool FREE Tool – an Online Color Schemer that lets you create complimentary color schemes no matter how bad you are with colors.

Hexadecimal Chart of 216 Colors that Look the Same in Every Browser.

Article References

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7 thoughts on “Color 101: What does Your Online Color Scheme Say to Customers?

  1. This is Absoluely right,,I have always been into colors,,,why,,a big plus is I am from the sixty”ss,,thats it color,is everywhere,,everything..Smile ur on color,,Asian colors are the Best..I dont like to many bright colors,,I think there Bad for our Planet,

  2. I thoroughly enjoyed this article. The information came at a great time. Starting now, I am putting my colors to the test by altering the colors on my website. Then I plan to track the client responses.

  3. What does brown say? I’m a graphic designer and I built my own website using white with subtle brown and black accents. It’s deliberately a simple, clean layout with minimal color so as not to compete with the bright artwork I showcase.

  4. Elmira, keep us posted on what you find out!

    Arajay, thanks for the link.

    cmorgan, I did a search on brown – there is tons of information out there but in a nutshell, brown – strength and realiability, warmth, comfort down to earth but can also be sophisticated. Can also create feelings of sadness and isolation. Here’s the link for Color Psychology – Brown, by Kendra Van Wagner on About.com. (http://psychology.about.com/od/sensationandperception/a/color_brown.htm

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